On Saturday, Scott Anderson became the first openly gay person to be ordained as a minister by the Presbyterian Church (USA), the nation's 10th-largest denomination. But the ceremony actually marked his second ordination, after he was forced to step down from the pulpit, under threat of blackmail, 20 years before. At the time, Anderson had donated his pastoral stole to the Shower of Stoles Project, including over 1000 items representing LGBT people of faith barred from the ministry. Saturday's ceremony also marked the first time that a donated object was returned to its owner. [more inside]
Who Goes to Hell? An editorial response (by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, posted on Foxnews.com) to the controversy of Chad Holtz, a Methodist Church pastor in North Carolina, having been fired for questioning whether hell exists.
Irene Elizabeth Stroud, an associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia, was accused of flouting the church's ban on homosexual clergy.
In the first open trial for the Eastern Pennsylvania United Methodist Church Council in more than 50 years, the Rev. Irene Elizabeth Stroud was accused of violating church law by openly living with her partner in a committed relationship. Jurors were instructed that they had a duty to "hold a good pastor accountable to the standard with which we all live'' under the Methodist Book of Discipline. The jury voted 7-6 to withdraw Stroud's ministerial credentials at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia. She was defrocked, so to speak. Laicized. Ostracized. Demonized.